With the content management system Joomla, articles make up most of a website’s content. Creating articles is an essential part of using Joomla, so I’m going to walk you through the process. Just follow along with the screenshots and directions provided below, and you should be able to create an article using Joomla by the time you’re done!
The first step is to go to your Joomla admin panel, enter your username and password, and click “Login”
When you install Joomla, a bunch of sample menu items will also be installed. If you would like to delete them, the first step is to click on “Article Manager” under the “Content” tab.
Next, you’ll want to display all of the articles, so just select “All” from the “Display #” dropdown at the bottom of the screen. Then, just check the box next to the “#” sign and click “Trash”.
Now that you’ve deleted all of the sample articles, click on “New” to begin creating an article.
Now this part can be a little confusing, so I’ll give you a quick overview of the fields and their functions:
The Title is pretty obvious — it’s the name of the article. Depending on the parameter values you choose, this may or may not be displayed on the page.
The Published option is one of the ways Joomla allows you to control whether or not the article is visible to your site’s visitors. If you don’t want to publish the article right now, check the “No” radio button for “Published”.
The Alias is the internal name for the article and will be used as part of the URL for the page. Usually, you can leave this blank and Joomla will enter it for you. The default alias is the Title in lower case with hyphens instead of spaces between words. You can enter the Alias yourself, but it must not contain capital letters or blank spaces (use a hyphen instead).
Front Page allows you to control the content on the home page of your site. If you want the article to appear on the front page of your site, then click the “Yes” radio button for “Front Page”.
Section allows you to choose where you want the article to appear in your site. You can choose the section for this article from the drop-down list. If you don’t want this article associated with a section or category right now, then just select “Uncategorized” (use this for articles you want to display in an article layout as static content).
Category is basically a sub-category of the Section. For “Category” you can choose the category for this article form the drop-down list. If you chose “Uncategorized” for the Section, then the Category will automatically be “Uncategorized”.
After you’ve entered your information and made your selections, it’s time to write the content of your article. Just write your content in the text box and use the editor to control fonts, alignment, italicization, etc.
If you want to include hyperlinks to other webpages, just highlight the text you want to turn into a link and click on the symbol that looks like a chainlink. A small window will pop up: Just enter the URL for the page you want to link to in the field labeled “Link URL” and choose how you want the link to open from the drop-down list for the field labeled “Target”.
If you choose “Open in this window”, when a user clicks the link the new page will be displayed in the window they’re using to view your website. If you choose “Open in a new window”, when a user clicks the link the new page will be displayed in another window and not in the window they’re using to view your website.
Click “Insert” and your text will turn into a link. Note: If you want to turn a link back into regular text, just click on the linked text and click on the icon that looks like a broken chain link (to the right of the unbroken chainlink icon you used to turn the text into a link)
Now that you know how to create links, you probably want to know how to insert images. To insert an image, just position your cursor in the place you want the image to appear and click on the button labeled “Image”.
A new window will pop up. Click “Browse”, select the image you want, and click “Start Upload”. Once the image is successfully uploaded, click on the thumbnail of image, and you will see a URL appear in the box labeled “Image URL”. If you want to , you can align the image; you can also enter a description and title for the image. Check the box next to “Caption” if you want the image title to appear as a caption below the image. Click “Insert” to insert the image into the page.
After you’ve inserted the image, you may notice that the icon that looks a tree is highlighted (if for some reason the tree icon isn’t highlighted, just click on the image, and the icon should become highlighted). Clicking on this icon allows you to control the appearance of images you have uploaded to your site — you can use this icon instead of the button labeled “Image” when you want to change the image’s dimensions, borders, styles, etc.
So now you’ve written your content, created a hyperlink, inserted an image, but you’re probably wondering about all of the parameters on the right side of the page.
First, there are the Parameters (Article):
Author is the name of the person who wrote the article, and it may or may not be displayed depending on how you set other parameters. You can choose the Author from the drop-down list, and it will automatically default to the current user.
Author Alias is entirely optional, but you can use it to enter an alternate name for the article’s author.
Access Level allows you to control who can access the article by choosing Public, Registered, or Special from the drop-down list. Public means that everyone can access the article; Registered means that only registered users can access this article; Special means that only users with author status or higher can access this article.
Created Date allows you to enter the date the article was created (it may or may not be displayed in the article depending on how you set other parameters), and it will automatically default to the current date and time.
Start Publishing allows you to schedule when you want the article to be visible to your site’s visitors, and it will automatically default to the current date and time.
Finish Publishing allows you to schedule when you want the article to stop being visible to your site’s visitors, and it automatically defaults to “Never”.
Next, you have the Parameters (Advanced). First, I’ll give you a quick overview of how the settings for the parameters work.
These parameters let you override the parameters set in the Parameter/Global Configuration setup in the Article Manager and the Parameters – Component settings in the Menu Item Manager. Global Configuration allows you to set up the way you want your site to appear and function in general; basically, you may almost always want your site to display the titles of your articles to your visitors, so you can use Global Configuration to make a rule that article titles will also be shown. However, every once and a while, you may decide that you don’t want to show the title of the article, so you can use the Advanced Parameters to override this global setting and hide the article’s title.
If you select “Use Global” for an action, then the action will be controlled either by the setting from the Global Configuration or the setting from the Menu Item. If you select an action other than “Use Global”, then this selection will control the action and override settings from any other areas. Essentially, the setting here takes top priority, and the setting in the Menu Item takes second priority. The Global Configuration setting for the action is used if both of the other setting are set to “Use Global”.
Sounds a little complicated, but it’s really just a simple hierarchy of actions. Now, I’ll give you a brief overview of the Advanced Parameters:
Show Title allows you to choose whether or not you want the title of the article to be visible to your site’s visitors. You can choose from the “Use Global”, “No”, and “Yes”.
Title Linkable allows you to make an article’s title a hyperlink to the article. You can choose from “Use Global”, “No, and “Yes”.
Intro Text allows you to show or hide an article’s intro text when the “Read more…” link is clicked. The intro text is first section of an article before the “Read more…” break. You can choose from “Use Global”, “Hide”, and “Show”. If you choose “Hide”, then only the section of the article after the “Read more…” link will display when the link is clicked. If you choose “Show”, then entire article will be displayed when a user clicks the Read more…” link.
Section Name allows you to choose whether or not the section’s name will be visible to visitors. You can choose from “Hide”, “Show”, and “Use Global”.
Section Title Linkable allows you to make the section’s title a hyperlink to the section page. You can choose from “No”, “Yes”, and “Use Global”.
Category Title allows you to choose whether or no the category’s title will be visible to visitors. You can choose from “Hide”, “Show”, and “Use Global”.
Category Title Linkable allows you to make the category’s title a hyperlink to the category page. You can choose from “Yes”, “No”, and “Use Global”.
Article Rating allows you to make an article’s rating visible to your site’s visitors (if you choose to allow users to rate articles). You can choose from “Hide”, “Show”, and “Use Global”.
Author Name allows you to make the name of an article’s author visible to your site’s visitors. You can choose from “Hide”, “Show”, and “Use Global”.
Created Date and Time allows you to make the date and time an article was written visible to your site’s visitors. You can choose from “Hide”, “Show”, and “Use Global”.
Modified Date and Time allows you to make the date and time an article was edited visible to your site’s visitors. You can choose from “Hide”, “Show”, and “Use Global”.
PDF Icon allows you to display a button that allows the article to be rendered in a new window as a PDF. You can choose from “Hide”, “Show”, and “Use Global”.
Print Icon allows you to display a button that allows an article to be displayed and printed in a printer-friendly format. You can choose from “Hide”, “Show”, and “Use Global”.
E-mail Icon allows you to display a button with a link to form that allows a user to send an email to a friend containing an article’s URL. You can choose from “Hide”, “Show”, and “Use Global”.
Content Language allows you to choose the language an article is written in (if you don’t select a language, then site’s default language is used).
Key Reference is an optional text key that an article can be referenced by (for example, a help reference). A normal Joomla! link to an article is in the form “<home URL>/index2.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=34“. In this example, Joomla! is using the “com_content” component, using an “article” layout, showing the article whose ID is “22“, and using the Menu Item whose ItemID is “34“. The Key Reference of an article can be used in a URL instead of the article’s ID. For example, if an article’s Key Reference is “about.us”, then the URL “<home URL>/index2.php/?option=com_content&view=article&Itemid=34&task=findkey&keyref=about.us” could also be used to display the page. The “task=findkey” tells Joomla! to search by Key Reference, and the “keyref=about.us” provides the Key Reference to search for. Using the Key Reference to link to articles is more flexible than using Article ID, since you can edit the Key Reference field of existing articles. Note that, if multiple articles share the same Key Reference, this URL will only find the first article with this Key Reference.
Alternative Read more: text is optional text to display next to the ‘Read more…’ link. If don’t enter any text in this field, the article’s title will be used.
The Metadata Information section allows you to enter information about the article that will not be displayed on the page but will be analyzed by search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc. for article classification. Metadata Information is entirely optional, but we strongly recommend using it.
Metadata Description enables you to influence the description of your page in search results (not all search engines use your metadata description in their search results, but quite a few do). It should be a short (approximately 200-250) description of an article’s content.
Metadata Keywords serve various purpose, but perhaps their most important role is helping search engines classify an article’s content. However, they can also be used to in combination with Banner tags to display specific banner ads based on the content of the article, or in combination with the Related Article Module to display articles that contain at least one of the same keywords. Keywords can be in lower or upper case letters, but they most be separated by commas (web hosting, evohosting, uk web hosting).
Robots enables you to enter optional keywords for automated software programs that search content on the internet.
Author is entirely optional, and it allows you to enter the name of an article’s author within the metadata.
Now that you’ve entered the parameters for your new article, you may want to save or preview your article. The toolbar gives you various options, and I’ll just give you a quick explanation of what each of them does.
Preview enables you to see what your article will look like to your site’s visitors. The preview will appear in a popup window, and it will help you determine whether or not you need to make any changes to the article prior to saving or publishing it.
Save will save the article and then take you to the Manager’s main screen.
Apply will also save the article, but, unlike Save, you will stay in the same screen instead of going to the main screen of the Manager. The purpose of Apply is to allow you to save your changes and carry on working on the article.
Close will take you to the previous screen you were viewing, and it will not save your work. If you hit Close while creating a new article, the article will not be added. If you hit Close while editing an existing article, your changes will not be saved.
Help will open a Help Screen with tons of useful information about Joomla. They’re a great resource for beginner and advanced users of Joomla.
I know that was a lot of information, but I thought it was important to explain all of the parameters to you. So now you know how to create an article using Joomla, but I’m sure you’re probably wondering what you need to do to make it accessible to your site’s visitors. Fortunately, it’s quite a simple process which I will explain in detail in an upcoming post.